South African Sarah Collins, who grew up under apartheid, was driven to become an entrepreneur so she could invent something that would help lift her neighbors out of poverty.
She tried earthworm farms and co-op vegetable crops, yet never got very far until a countrywide electricity shortage caused rolling blackouts in 2007 and she was forced to figure out a way to keep her dinner warm without power. She remembered her grandmother used to use couch cushions to keep pots of soup warm.
Collins made a prototype called Wonderbag with the help of an African seamstress. Her invention would mean an end to women spending several hours or more a day cooking and hunting for firewood, a backbreaking chore made even more dangerous by rapists who have been known to prey on women who gather cook-fire fuel alone. Wonderbag allows women to work the way they want to. Better yet, for each Wonderbag purchased in the United States, one is donated to a woman in Africa.
Photo courtesy: Wonderbag
Posted by: Laurel Delaney
Note: For information on how to set up an Amazon store just like Sarah did for Wonderbag, read Chapter 7, “Using e-Commerce and Social Media Sites as Stepping Stones to Export Success,” in my new book: Exporting: The Definitive Guide To Selling Abroad Profitably.